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Robert P. Patterson Jr.

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Name  Robert Patterson,

Robert P. Patterson, Jr. wwwnewyorklawjournalcomimageEMNYpattersonro
Died  April 21, 2015, New York City, New York, United States
Education  Columbia Law School, Harvard University

Robert Porter Patterson Jr. (July 11, 1923 – April 21, 2015) was a United States federal judge.


Early life and career

Born in New York, New York in 1923, the son of U.S. Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, Patterson Jr. was in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942–56, during which time he received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1947 and an LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1950. He was in private practice in New York City from 1950–52, then served as assistant counsel to the New York State Crime Commission from 1952–53, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York from 1953-56. He was also an Assistant counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking and Currency Committee in 1954. He was in private practice in New York City again from 1956–88, working as a special hearing officer for conscientious objectors in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1961–68, and as minority counsel to a Select Committee Pursuant to U.S. House of Representatives Resolution Number 1 in 1967.

Political career

In March 1988 New York Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recommended Patterson, a Republican, for a seat on the United States District Court as part of a bipartisan deal between him and New York's other senator, Republican Alfonse D'Amato, that permitted New York's senator from the party that was not in the White House to select a small number of federal judges from New York. Similar deals have been worked out over the years between New York's senators to pave the way for nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and John E. Sprizzo, both of whom also were recommended by minority-party senators from New York and ultimately were nominated by the president and confirmed to the federal bench.

Judicial career

On June 14, 1988 President Ronald Reagan nominated Patterson to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Whitman Knapp. On August 10, 1988 the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary reported on Patterson's nomination on a voice vote without dissent. The next day, however, Republican Senator Gordon Humphrey placed a hold on Patterson's nomination and subsequently queried the nominee about his positions on abortion. Ultimately, Patterson was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 5, 1988, and received his commission the following day. He assumed senior status on December 31, 1998 and died on April 21, 2015 at the age of 91.


Robert P. Patterson Jr. Wikipedia